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    Cooking with QA

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    As Product Manager, I spend the majority of my days designing new, cool features (e.g., Cider and Call Center) and working with clients to build solutions. This typically involves lots of computer time, and when my day is done, I like to turn to something equally creative, but in the analog world: cooking. My favorite source of recipes is Cook’s Illustrated—I subscribe to both digital and print versions (… sounds like a mixed Advantage agreement to me ). So, what does this have to do with software QA? Well, cooking can serve as an analogy to describe some exciting new features coming with the 2015 release of Advantage due out in January 2015.

    While I enjoy cooking, I'm less excited about cooking in someone else’s kitchen. The stove is electric, the salt isn’t in the right place, …



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    Help Is Just A Click Away!

    New User Interface on Advantage Help Website Offers Click-through Browsing, Focused Search, and Proximity Search

    Now it’s much easier to find the help you need on the Advantage help website.  It’s been reformatted using the Orchard online platform. This change, effective with the 2014r1 version of the help, offers an improved user interface, easier click-through browsing, and powerful search tools to help focus your search results.

    The help content remains what you’re used to seeing, with how-to explanations, screen images, and report samples for the standard documentation set. However, hyperlinks have been added for each level of the help to allow you to quickly access the subsidiary topics underneath. For example, the topic “Basic Agreement Information” includes quick links to …



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    A Sneak Peek at 2014r1 Features

    Here are just a few highlights of Advantage 2014r1.  

    • The new Scribe Connector module offers an interface to Scribe Online Integration Services, a tool that supports connections between applications and data sources. Scribe Connector can be used to provide integration between Advantage and a CRM system (such as Salesforce.com) for customer adds, updates, and orders. Currently Scribe Connector supports synchronization of customer/address adds and updates (both pushes and pulls), and orders (a one-way push from the CRM to Advantage). Future development is planned to add support for synchronization of other Advantage entities.

    • The new Call Center feature supports handling and routing of incoming calls via standard DNIS (Dialed Number Identification Service) numbers, as well as …



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    Introducing Project Cider: Advantage eCommerce Initiative

    Over the last 10 years, the publishing industry has experienced no greater trend than that towards digital media. This trend is certainly consistent with what we are seeing from our clients and it is no surprise that Advantage’s Access Management & Billing (AMB) module continues to be a hotbed of development activity. As a complement to digital offerings, publishers are increasingly looking towards eCommerce sites to be the drivers of sales. Many of our clients use Advantage’s comprehensive Application Programming Interface (API) to build their websites, while others implement the Foundation Site toolkit.

    As AMB continues to offer a powerful platform for digital content, we recognize the need to offer a powerful platform for eCommerce activity. We are pleased to announce a key strategic …



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    Highlights of Advantage 2013r3

    Here are some of the new features in the latest Advantage release. • The CIR renewal chain feature has been expanded to allow use with regular CIR340 renewal efforts. Previously, the feature…which allows you to step a subscriber through a series of different offers…was restricted to term-to-term CIR350 autorenewals. You can now construct chains that move the subscriber through a series of regular renewal offers from term to term, or even between efforts within the same term. • All date controls in Advantage filters now allow you to easily configure them to use relative dates. Previously, filter date fields used absolute calendar dates (for example, “on April 17” or “between May 1 and May 31”). These expressions sometimes required continual maintenance to keep them up …



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    The Advantage Ribbon Works for You

    One of the most significant user-interface enhancements we made in our change to the .NET environment was implementing the Advantage ribbon. Similar to the ribbon introduced in Microsoft Office 2007, the Advantage ribbon is a user-interface element that allows users to navigate the Advantage application quickly. We’ve adapted Advantage to more closely resemble Microsoft applications, which most end-users are already familiar with. Navigation and functionality in Advantage is now more intuitive, meaning you can spend less time training employees on the software. The Advantage ribbon contains a variety of buttons and search boxes neatly organized for an improved user experience. Key features of the Advantage Ribbon: You no longer need to remember all the 6- …



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    AdvantageCS Partners with Scribe

    AdvantageCS has joined the Scribe partner program and developed the Advantage Scribe Connector. Scribe is an integration tool which allows you to define an integration workflow, including the mapping of data elements, between any two systems that Scribe supports. You can now integrate Advantage with any other system that has a Scribe Connector available, such as Salesforce.com. A list of available systems may be found on the Scribe website: http://www.scribesoft.com/connectivity. The Advantage Scribe Connector brings Advantage support to Scribe. This new module provides integration between Advantage and other systems for customer adds, updates and orders. ACS plans to expand the Scribe connector to support additional data elements in the future. ACS developed the …



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    The Marketer's Voice

    Advantage Marketing Forum Report There was a decision at the February 2013 user group meeting that we needed input from marketers on how Advantage’s marketing features could be improved to address current and future requirements. The Marketers Voice Program was the result. Twelve marketers from 8 Advantage clients attended the forum held in Ann Arbor on October 1st and 2nd. (Thank you, MVPs—you guys are the best!) We had excellent discussions about promotions, social media, customer interests, marketing channels (email in particular) and analysis, led by myself, Dan Heffernan, Mona Hidayet, Corey Mantel and Karl Davis. Several software engineers and business analysts sat in to hear firsthand the challenges a marketer faces in today’s business environment. …



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    Notes from the Web

    Advantage offers API support for customers creating notes from the web. The API Method is WebNote.Create and takes these arguments (among others): System Name Reason Category Reason Subject Text Note Assignment Select That’s interesting, you say, but how might it be used? For typical customer service requests, such as a change of address or bill payment, there’s no sense having the customer send you a note requesting that you perform the task. They can do these tasks for themselves using the Advantage API. But what about questions that customers come up with? The customer is looking for something--a product maybe--on your website and can’t find it. Having them log that question with you through a note may be less expensive …



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    Highlights of 2013R2

    Here are some of the exciting new features coming in Advantage 2013r2. • A new Advantage view, AMBAGC, allows you to view and work with components on AMB agreements. Unlike AMBAGR, which is agreement-centric, AMBAGC focuses on the customer’s current components regardless of their containing agreements. This is a similar concept to SVCCIR; in addition, since AMB agreements can contain both CIR and PRO components, the AMBAGC view can function as an overall “consolidated subscribed services” view for the customer, if you have entered orders in this way. The AMBAGC view allows you to view and make changes to the components. • More flexible discount handling is now available, through the addition of a discount percent and discount combination code at several Advantage setup …



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